Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slow-Cooked Pot Roast with Red Wine Gravy

I love comfort food and therefore, I love my slow cooker. Many people don't want to cook hot food in an oven or over a skillet in the summer, and I think slow cooking is the perfect solution. I stick the slow cooker in the corner of my kitchen, let it do it's thing all day, and the only heat that comes out of it is a steamy aroma of home-cooked goodness when I lift the lid. Then, I sit in the air conditioning and enjoy a comforting bowl of pot roast and egg noodles. This recipe could be enhanced by the addition of veggies such as baby carrots and diced potatoes, which I would recommend adding in the second half of the cooking time as to assure they don't turn to mush (and skipping the egg noodles if you're doing potatoes as to not double up on starch).

For this meal's wine pairing, I would pour a glass of the same red wine you use in the gravy. One of my favorite red wines to cook with and pairs wonderfully with beef is Cabernet Sauvignon. Shiraz would make a great spicy, earthy addition to the meal. Pinot Noir works well too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Crumb Cake

This recipe for Banana Oatmeal Crumb Cake comes courtesy of Carol at AllRecipes.com. Many of my recipes start by having a bunch of ingredients I want/need to use before they go bad or if because they're all I have left in the house. My only change to the original recipe is I left out the walnuts. I'm not a big fan, nor did I have any around. I had some bananas that were over-ripe, and was craving a coffee cake-like recipe. This cake is delicious, and can be made with stuff you'll already have around the house. However, my topping wasn't very crumb-y like a crumb cake. I'm not sure what to do there, suggestions appreciated. I enjoyed with a nice hot cup of black coffee (how's that for a pairing).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Southwest Mac & Cheese

Everyone loves mac & cheese, right? I wanted to make a meal out of this well-loved classic and make it a little more grown-up. This recipe is spicy, flavorful, and packs a lot of protein by adding chicken breast and black beans. If you'd rather go vegetarian, you can leave out the chicken and still get plenty of protein from the black beans and cheese. I would leave out the hot sauce if you're serving to kids and save it on the side for adults to add, if desired. I debated adding chopped spinach to the mix at well, but I didn't want to add so many things that it stopped looking like mac & cheese.

As far as wine pairing for the adults, my go-to wine for spicy dishes is a nice Riesling or Gew├╝rztraminer, which are both sweet German wines that work well to balance out the heat of this dish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken Parmigiana

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love cooking Italian dishes, though I'm not Italian. There's something very comforting about these Italian classics, not to mention they're easy to make. This recipe for Chicken Parmigiana is loosely based off of Bobby Flay's, though I use more spices and seasonings, and it is the best I've ever had. I think what makes this recipe particularly delicious is the thinness of chicken breast, so if you trim and pound out chicken breast halves, make sure they're thin. Or, you can also buy a package of thin sliced cutlets and I would recommend pounding them out a little more so they're extra thin.

My wine pairing for Italian dishes is becoming pretty predictable as well, I love an Italian sangiovese or chianti, but you can mix it up by trying different red Italian wines in your local wine store and you'll almost always have a good pairing.

I also served up this dish with a simple caesar salad with romaine lettuce, croutons, shredded carrots, tomatoes, and light caesar dressing (my favorite is Ken's).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Easy Apple Cobbler

Using short cuts such as boxed baking mix and a short list of ingredients makes this recipe quick and easy, and not to mention delicious. Apples can be macintosh, gala, honeycrisp; whatever you have on hand. Pair this recipe with a a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a hot cup of coffee!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fettuccine & Roasted Garlic Alfredo

Another classic Italian dish that you can easily make at home: fettuccine alfredo. Alfredo sauce is so easy and inexpensive to make at home (and tastes so much better than anything you get in a jar when you do so). To add color and extra nutrients, I used Ronzoni Garden Delight fettuccine. Throw in some chicken breast for lean protein, some broccoli for extra crunch, and roast some garlic for extra yumminess.

Want some wine for this meal? Make it Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meatball Subs

Previously, I posted a recipe to spaghetti & meatballs which gave my recipe for home-made meatballs. Again, we're using this same recipe, but to make meatball subs, another great classic. I used whole wheat bolilo rolls from my local grocery store's bakery section, which fit about three 2-inch meatballs. This recipe makes about 18 recipes, so count on about 6 subs, and adjust accordingly for your needs. Enjoy this simple and delicious recipe and enjoy getting your hands messy!

Again, I will make the same wine recommendations I did for the spaghetti & meatballs: This meatball recipe could be matched with either a white, due to its herb-y nature, or red. Avoid Chardonnays, as they do not like to be paired with tomatoes, and match up with acidic red such as Malbec or Sangiovese.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Buffalo & Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burger

Buffalo wings are one of my favorite foods, so I though why not figure out how to make a "buffalo wing" burger, emulating the flavors of a basket of buffalo with a cup of blue cheese dressing for dipping. Plus, bacon never hurts the flavor of any dish, especially a burger. Not only is ground turkey breast leaps and bounds healthier than ground chuck typically used for burgers, I think the poultry flavor lends itself to being more similar to buffalo wings. Using low fat blue cheese and low-sodium bacon, you can enjoy this burger guilt free.

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